New Graduate Funding Policies

Effective in Academic Year 2024-2025

April 10, 2024

The Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships (OGSAF) is excited to announce new graduate student funding policies for the upcoming 2024-2025 academic year. These policies represent a significant investment in the graduate student population and ensure that George Washington University remains a leading institution for graduate study. 

These new funding policies:

  • Create new assistantship and fellowship roles to align with assistant responsibilities
  • Standardize minimum compensation for each graduate student assistantship and fellowship role
  • Clarify assistantship guidelines to keep students, staff and faculty better informed about the policies of assistantship positions

 

New Assistantship and Fellowship Roles

Academic Assistantship Role

  • Graduate Academic Assistant (GAA): The GAAship is an assistantship given to a master’s or doctoral student that assists a faculty member or department with academic-related assignments that do not consist of instruction or research.
    • Compensation: All GAAs receive a monthly salary. GAAs may receive an additional monthly stipend and/or tuition coverage at the department’s discretion.

Instruction-related Assistantship Roles

  • Graduate Instructional Assistant (GIA): The GIAship is a basic assistantship given to a master’s or doctoral student that assists an instructor in a teaching-related capacity. A GIA is not the instructor of record (IOR), but they assist the IOR as needed including but not limited to: grading assignments, leading lab, recitation or discussion sections, and holding office hours.
    • Compensation: All GIAs receive a monthly salary. GIAs may receive an additional monthly stipend and/or tuition coverage at the department’s discretion.
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA): The GTAship is GW’s most competitive and largest funding package for a graduate student serving in an instruction-related role. A GTA is a doctoral student that assists an instructor in a teaching-related capacity. A GTA is not the Instructor of Record (IOR), but they assist the course instructor as needed including but not limited to: grading assignments, leading lab, recitation or discussion sections, and holding office hours.
    • Compensation: All GTAs receive a monthly salary, monthly stipend and full tuition coverage to support their doctoral study. 
  • Graduate Student Lecturer (GSL): The GSLship is intended to provide doctoral students with classroom teaching experience. A GSL is a doctoral student who serves as the Instructor of Record (IOR) for a course and is expected to teach the course with minimal direction from faculty. A GSL may also be assigned additional responsibilities to assist instructors. GSLs must have served as a GIA or GTA for at least one semester prior to their appointment as a GSL.
    • Compensation: All GSLs receive a monthly salary. GSLs may receive an additional monthly stipend and/or tuition coverage at the department’s discretion.

*Students who will only be designated as graders should be hired as GAAs or through the Student Employment Office as student employees (W1).

Research-related Assistantship and Fellowship Roles

  • Graduate Research Assistant (GRA): This is the typical role for a graduate student helping faculty in a long-term research project. A GRA is a master’s or doctoral student who helps faculty members on a specific project and performs research-related duties.
    • Compensation: All GRAs receive a monthly salary. Doctoral GRAs receive full tuition coverage to support their doctoral study. Master’s GRAs may receive tuition coverage at the department’s discretion.
  • Graduate Research Fellow (GRF): This is a master’s or doctoral student who participates in a research project as a trainee to further their individual educational development. There is no service requirement for a GRF.
    • Compensation: All GRFs receive a monthly salary. Doctoral GRFs also receive full tuition coverage. Master’s GRFs may receive tuition coverage at the department’s discretion.

 

Minimum Compensation Levels for Each Role

Full Time Equivalent (FTE):

  • FTE 0.5 = 20 hours per week

  • FTE 0.375 = 15 hours per week

  • FTE 0.25 = 10 hours per week

  • FTE 0.125 = 5 hours per week

Graduate Academic Assistant (GAA)

Compensation: All GAAs receive a monthly salary. GAAs may receive an additional monthly stipend and/or tuition coverage at the department’s discretion.

Please note: For all appointments, the total pay listed below is divided into even monthly payments. Fall semester has four payments (September, October, November, and December). Spring semester has five payments (January, February, March, April, and May). Summer semester has three payments (June, July and August). Any irregular assistantship terms (e.g. six months) will have a salary prorated based on the number of months.

Minimum Salaries: 

Effort (FTE) Hours per Week Semester Appointment Academic Year Appointment Summer Appointment 12-month Appointment
0.5 20 $4,750 $9,500 $3,167 $12,667
0.375 15 $3,563 $7,125 $2,375 $9,500
0.25 10 $2,375 $4,750 $1,583 $6,333
0.125 5 $1,188 $2,375 $792 $3,167
Graduate Instructional Assistant (GIA)

Compensation: All GIAs receive a monthly salary. GIAs may receive an additional monthly stipend and/or tuition coverage at the department’s discretion.

Please note: For all appointments, the total pay listed below is divided into even monthly payments. Fall semester has four payments (September, October, November, and December). Spring semester has five payments (January, February, March, April, and May). Summer semester has three payments (June, July and August). Any irregular assistantship terms (e.g. six months) will have a salary prorated based on the number of months.

Minimum Salaries: 

Effort (FTE) Hours per Week Semester Appointment Academic Year Appointment Summer Appointment 12-month Appointment
0.5 20 $4,750 $9,500 $3,167 $12,667
0.375 15 $3,563 $7,125 $2,375 $9,500
0.25 10 $2,375 $4,750 $1,583 $6,333
0.125 5 $1,188 $2,375 $792 $3,167
Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA)

Compensation: All GTAs receive a monthly salary, monthly stipend and full tuition coverage to support their doctoral study. 

Please note: For all appointments, the total pay listed below is divided into even monthly payments. Fall semester has four payments (September, October, November, and December). Spring semester has five payments (January, February, March, April, and May). Summer semester has three payments (June, July and August). Any irregular assistantship terms (e.g. six months) will have a salary prorated based on the number of months.

Minimum Salaries: 

Effort (FTE) Hours per Week Semester Appointment Academic Year Appointment Summer Appointment 12-month Appointment
0.5 20 $4,750 $9,500 $3,167 $12,667
0.375 15 $3,563 $7,125 $2,375 $9,500
0.25 10 $2,375 $4,750 $1,583 $6,333
0.125 5 $1,188 $2,375 $792 $3,167


Minimum Stipends: 

Effort (FTE) Hours per Week Semester Appointment Academic Year Appointment Summer Appointment 12-month Appointment
0.5 20 $8,300 $16,600 $5,533 $22,133
0.375 15 $6,223 $12,450 $4,150 $16,600
0.25 10 $4,150 $8,300 $2,767 $11,067
0.125 5 $2,075 $4,150 $1,383 $5,533
Graduate Student Lecturer (GSL)

Compensation: All GSLs receive a monthly salary. GSLs may receive an additional monthly stipend and/or tuition coverage at the department’s discretion.

Please note: For all appointments, the total pay listed below is divided into even monthly payments. Fall semester has four payments (September, October, November, and December). Spring semester has five payments (January, February, March, April, and May). Summer semester has three payments (June, July and August). Any irregular assistantship terms (e.g. six months) will have a salary prorated based on the number of months.

Minimum Salaries: 

Effort (FTE) Hours per Week Semester Appointment Academic Year Appointment Summer Appointment 12-month Appointment
0.5 20 $4,750 $9,500 $3,167 $12,667
0.375 15 $3,563 $7,125 $2,375 $9,500
0.25 10 $2,375 $4,750 $1,583 $6,333
0.125 5 $1,188 $2,375 $792 $3,167
Graduate Research Assistant (GRA)

Compensation: All GRAs receive a monthly salary. Doctoral GRAs receive full tuition coverage to support their doctoral study. Master’s GRAs may receive tuition coverage at the department’s discretion.

Please note: For all appointments, the total pay listed below is divided into even monthly payments. Fall semester has four payments (September, October, November, and December). Spring semester has five payments (January, February, March, April, and May). Summer semester has three payments (June, July and August). Any irregular assistantship terms (e.g. six months) will have a salary prorated based on the number of months.

Minimum Master's Student Salaries: 

Effort (FTE) Hours per Week Semester Appointment Academic Year Appointment Summer Appointment 12-month Appointment
0.5 20 $8,550 $17,100 $5,700 $22,800
0.375 15 $6,413 $12,825 $4,275 $17,100
0.25 10 $4,275 $8,550 $2,850 $11,400
0.125 5 $2,138 $4,275 $1,425 $5,700

 

Minimum Doctoral Student Salaries: 

Effort (FTE) Hours per Week Semester Appointment Academic Year Appointment Summer Appointment 12-month Appointment
0.5 20 $13,050 $26,100 $8,700 $34,800
0.375 15 $9,788 $19,575 $6,525 $26,100
0.25 10 $6,525 $13,050 $4,350 $17,400
0.125 5 $3,263 $6,525 $2,175 $8,700
Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF)

Compensation: All GRFs receive a monthly stipend. Doctoral GRFs also receive full tuition coverage. Master’s GRFs may receive tuition coverage at the department’s discretion.

Please note: For all appointments, the total stipend listed below is divided into even monthly payments. Fall semester has four payments (September, October, November, and December). Spring semester has five payments (January, February, March, April, and May). Summer semester has three payments (June, July and August). Any irregular assistantship terms (e.g. six months) will have a salary prorated based on the number of months. The category and hours per week in the table below are for reference purposes only. There is no service obligation for a GRF.

Minimum Doctoral Student Stipends: 

Category Hours per Week Semester Appointment Academic Year Appointment Summer Appointment 12-month Appointment
0.5 20 $13,050 $26,100 $8,700 $34,800
0.375 15 $9,788 $19,575 $6,525 $26,100
0.25 10 $6,525 $13,050 $4,350 $17,400
0.125 5 $3,263 $6,525 $2,175 $8,700

Employment Restrictions

Fall and Spring Semester Restrictions

Graduate Assistants may hold multiple assistantships as well as a student employment job or a non-GW-affiliated job, subject to the following restrictions: 

  • The total assistantship hours cannot exceed 20 hours per week.
  • Graduate assistants who are fully-funded may not work more than 20 hours per week during fall and spring semesters. Fully-funded graduate assistants interested in pursuing employment in excess of 20 hours per week may appeal for exemption using the Request for Permission to Work Process.
  • Graduate assistants who are not fully funded may not work more than 40 hours per week during fall and spring semesters between all positions (assistantships, student employment and non-GW affiliated jobs). 

Summer Semester Restrictions

Graduate Assistants at all funding levels may hold multiple assistantships in combination with a student employment job or a non-GW-affiliated job, subject to the following restriction: 

  • Between all positions (assistantships, student employment and non-GW affiliated jobs), a student may not work more than 40 hours per week during the summer semester.

International Students: Please note many international student visas are subject to additional employment restrictions. Most F-1 visa holders are limited to working no more than 20 hours per week during semesters they are enrolled in coursework. Please consult the International Services Office to verify any visa requirements prior to accepting employment.
 

Definition of Fully Funded:

For Academic Year 2024-2025

Master's students: receiving a minimum of $8,550 (for fall, spring or summer semester) or $17,100 (for the entire academic year) in a combination of assistantship service payment and/or stipend.
Doctoral students: receiving a minimum of $13,050 (for fall, spring or summer semester) or $26,100 (for the entire academic year) in a combination of assistantship service payment and/or stipend.

*Please note that tuition awards do not count toward the funding thresholds listed above.

 

Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP) Subsidy for Graduate Assistants

All graduate assistants (GAAs, GIAs, GTAs, GSLs, and GRAs) and graduate research fellows  who have enrolled in the GW Student Health Plan and are fully funded (GWSPH and SMHS excluded), will be eligible for a subsidy towards the cost of the plan. For more information about the “fully funded” qualifications, please see our Health Insurance Subsidy webpage.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a salary and a stipend?

A salary is compensation for services rendered in an assistantship. A stipend is intended to cover living expenses to allow a graduate student to focus more fully on their academic work and is not compensation for any services rendered. While there are some award packages that include both an assistantship salary and a stipend, note that not all assistantship awards are accompanied by a stipend and vice versa.

What tax implications does a stipend vs. salary have?

It is the responsibility of the awardee to understand the federal and state income tax implications of receiving an assistantship (salary) / fellowship (stipend). The University withholds tax on the salary portion of the award. The Tax Department’s website provides general information to assist students in determining tax liability and reporting obligations.

When will I receive my compensation?

Salaries are delivered on the last business day of each month. Stipends are delivered at the start of each month. Please note that many stipends arrive earlier than the start of the month so students may receive their September stipend in the last week of August for example. The processing time will vary based on your bank’s direct deposit schedule. Tuition awards are added by the funding entity directly to a students account at the start of each semester.

How will I receive my payments?

Students may receive stipend and/or salary checks by mail or receive payments to their bank account via direct deposit. If receiving a check by mail is your preference, be sure to update your mailing address in GWeb each year to avoid missing checks. For direct deposit, follow the direct deposit instructions outlined by Procurement.

Fall semester is 4 months (Sept-Dec) while spring semester is 5 months (Jan-May). How does this affect my pay?

The total pay for both fall and spring semesters is the same but a student’s monthly paycheck will vary based on the semester. For example, a graduate assistant making $5,000 total for a semester of work would receive four (4) paychecks of $1,250 each if they worked in the fall semester and five (5) paychecks of $1,000 each if they worked in the spring semester. Students working for the entire academic year (Sept-May) will have nine (9) equal monthly paychecks.

I start my assistantship training in August but my position technically starts on September 1st, how will I be paid?

Compensation for graduate assistants is for services provided over a semester. While OGSAF uses fixed dates for each semester (Sep. 1 - Dec. 31 for Fall, and Jan. 1 - May 31 for Spring) for the payment schedules, it is to be understood that the actual dates over which the services are performed may fall outside these dates. For example, GTA/GIA work typically starts in the third week of August and ends in the second/third week of December for the fall semester and starts in the second/third week of January and ends in the second/third week of May for the spring semester. 

When do I need to complete my I-9?

Students are responsible for completing the I-9 paperwork by the 3rd day following their first day of services.

If I am fully funded by external awards am I eligible for the Student Health Insurance Subsidy from the Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships?

Students receiving awards that meet or exceed OGSAF’s definition of fully funded from a prestigious external organization can be considered for SHIP eligibility. A list of such organizations is currently under development and will be shared over the summer. If you are fully funded by an external organization, please provide the award name, type, and amount to the Office of Graduate Assistantships and Fellowships at [email protected] for consideration.

What does it mean to be fully funded?

A graduate student is considered fully funded if they are awarded a salary and/or stipend that meets or exceeds the fully funded threshold. Please note that tuition awards do not count toward the fully funded threshold. In the 2024-2025 academic year, the fully funded threshold is:

  • Master's students: receiving a minimum of $8,550 (for fall, spring or summer semester) or $17,100 (for the entire academic year) in a combination of assistantship salary and/or stipend.
  • Doctoral students: receiving a minimum of $13,050 (for fall, spring or summer semester) or $26,100 (for the entire academic year) in a combination of assistantship salary and/or stipend.
My award letter indicates a time commitment of 20 hours per week during my employment period. However, the time required to complete my work assignments regularly falls short of / exceeds this limit. How should I address this issue?

Levels of effort for graduate assistantships can be assigned at 5, 10, 15, or 20 hrs per week. A single assistantship appointment cannot exceed 20 hrs per week as a general rule. The hours worked each week should closely align with the time commitment indicated in your award letter. While graduate assistants are not required to clock in / clock out to record their hours, they are ultimately responsible for keeping track of the hours worked from one week to the next. In the event that the work assigned exceeds the level of effort indicated in the award letter, the graduate assistant must raise the issue with their supervisor so that adjustments can be made. If appropriate measures are not taken to ensure alignment with the official level of effort, graduate assistants are encouraged to reach out to their program director and/or the Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships.

The Working in Multiple Positions policy for graduate assistants indicates that, as a non-fully funded student, I can work up to 40 hours per week in a combination of assistantships and W1 (Student Employment) positions. How is this monitored?

The Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships collaborates with the Student Employment Office to monitor the total number of hours worked across assistantship and student employee positions. Ultimately, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure they are adhering to the employment restrictions included in the terms and conditions of their award and the Working in Multiple Positions policy.

Additional Questions?

For more information, please contact The Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships (OGSAF) via [email protected] or by phone (202) 994-6822.